Chipmunks are super cute and they look pretty when playing on lawns and gardens. While most rodents are hated by people, chipmunks are overlooked just for this same reason. Interestingly, most people are unaware or do not want to agree that chipmunks are also rodents that can cause destructive issues.
Would you love to know how to get rid of chipmunks in and around the home?
Believe it or not, these small furry creatures can destroy the outdoor gardens and walkways of the new home you just moved in. The cute-looking chipmunks can also carry not-so-cute diseases into your family. Though not at all aggressive chipmunks will bite or scratch while feeling insecure and this can be dangerous.
Chipmunks dig under sidewalks and porches and, like moles, can leave a backyard filled with potholes — an eyesore and a hazard to domestic pets. Maybe you would have just newly moved into the home and may love to make the house and surroundings look fabulous. But you don’t agree to kill these cute creatures.
Just like most people, I also do not believe in hurting chipmunks and my intention is just to safeguard your home from them without harming these cute creatures. If you too share this concept but are unaware of how to get rid of chipmunks in and around the home, come along with me as I have got tips to share with you.
Before we move forward, let us see some interesting facts about chipmunks.
- Chipmunks are members of the squirrel family but are smaller than squirrels.
- Chipmunks are natives to North America, except the Siberian Chipmunk.
- They are omnivorous and mostly eat nuts, berries, corn, insects, and plant roots.
- While they are active in spring, summer & fall, chipmunks remain in deep burrow systems in winter.
- They sleep 15 hours a day.
- To prepare for the winter hibernation period, they stockpile nuts and seeds in their burrows during late summer and early fall.
How do you get chipmunks?
Normally, chipmunks spend their time in forests, tree lines, and along fences. But as they are highly adaptable to different environments, and when your new home is near one of their habitats, these cute creatures will end up reaching your home premises for food. A big part of their time is spent searching and storing food. If your home has plants, flower bulbs or bird feeders, chipmunks would find it easy to find food there and would start living on your lawn and garden.
It’s easy to identify whether your lawn and garden have chipmunk infestation. There will be holes throughout the yard leading to burrows where they store the collected food. Shockingly, these holes will sabotage your efforts to make the yard look pretty. Walking through the yards with many holes is also a tough task.
What are the signs of a chipmunk problem at home?
While these tiny creatures are cute, they are also shy and fast. As a result, it is difficult to spot them. And maybe you may not even know their presence for a long time until your lawn is completely damaged.
To help you, we’ve got a few ways to identify the chipmunk problem at home.
- Damaged garden or flower beds
When on a fine morning you feel like someone has munched your flowers, plants, and fruits, you need to realize that there is a chipmunk problem in your house. Often, chipmunks burrow in gardens and flower beds and you need to keep a watch on it.
- Tiny footprints in your yard
The presence of chipmunks in the garden leaves footprints. They have four toes on the front feet and five toes on the hind feet. Be a Sherlock Holmes, look for footprints, and find the owners.
- Cracked sidewalks and issues with the house foundation
Next time you see a crack on the wall, beware! Chipmunks might be drilling tunnels underneath the walkways to the home. Start acting on the issue the moment you see this problem at home as it can be dangerous.
- A high-pitched perching sound
If you hear high-pitched chirping noises inside the home, understand that chipmunks are inside. And when you find a chipmunk inside the home, make it easy for them to escape. Believe me; they don’t want to be inside your house any more than you want them to be there.
How to get rid of chipmunks in and around the home?
Do not let chipmunks damage your home or home lawn. You need to get rid of them but without harming these tiny creatures. The first and best way to get rid of chipmunks in and around the home is to prevent infestation.
Here are a few ways to do that.
- Get rid of the bird feeder
The easiest way to stop chipmunks is by eliminating things at home that they love. For example, you would have been keeping the birdfeeder on the lawn, inviting chipmunks. Stop that and instead place it high off the ground and around 15 feet from fences and other structures. Clean up the spilled seed regularly. Also, try adding hot pepper to the feed which chipmunks don’t eat but birds will do.
- Prune and clean up trees and bushes
Regularly prune trees and plants in the yard. You may have recently moved it and the previous homeowner would have let the trees grow as they wished. Trim the tree limbs and shrubbery that touches the roof of your home and this makes it hard for chipmunks to climb on your housetop. When you trim the layer of shrubs at the bottom, they cannot borrow underneath. And this prompts them to move to a safer location.
- Pepper the plants
Spray pepper or hot sauce at the base of your plants and chipmunks will go away. However, you need to know that this can affect pollinators because the capsaicin in cayenne is toxic to bees. And if you are concerned by this, sprinkle blood meal or even commercial deer repellent instead.
- Put a barricade a patio, deck, or at the walkway
When you have an L-shaped footer near your home, rodents won’t burrow around the area. You can install this in the yard and the gardens as well. The wire meshed fence is extended out into an “L” shape on the ground or underneath the ground. This is an excellent way to get rid of chipmunks in and around the home.
- Use natural repellants
If you are not a fan of synthetic man-made chipmunk repellent, go natural and opt for mothballs. Keep them next to the home’s foundation and around the chipmunk holes. Even spreading hair clippings around the garden beds is a natural way to scare away chipmunks. The human scents from the hair will scare off chipmunks and other animals, while the nitrogen in the hair will fertilize your plants.
- Go technical
When you are looking for more technical ways to get chipmunks out of your home, electronic repellents that use blasts of water or ultrasonic vibrations, are a high-tech, non-toxic option. And when the cost is a major factor, you can go low tech by inflating beach balls and letting them bounce around your backyard in the wind, and hanging CDs in your trees to twirl in the breeze. Chipmunks are timid and the unexpected motion will often scare them away.
- Clean up the garden
Once you remove bird food from the garden, eliminate any other potential food sources, transportation avenues, and cover they seek. Also take away the piles of rocks and wood, as well as shrub and tree clippings, from your property. When you prune back plantings from around your home’s foundation, chipmunks will not b able to climb on the roof. Do not forget to toss out branches from berry bushes and fruit trees brought down in the wind.
- Take away the woodpiles
If you have wood piles around the property, remove them. They can be a safe home for chipmunks. By keeping them, you were giving the chances of the rodents to infect your property.
- Plant bulbs inside wire cages
Install bulbs inside either wire cages or planting cubes. This will prevent chipmunks from entering your premises. And if you need another smart way to get rid of chipmunks in and around the home, plant flowers that won’t attract chipmunks. Daffodils, alliums, scilla, hyacinths, Muscari, fritillaria, camassia, chionodoxa, Galanthus, and leucojum are some of the plants that won’t appeal to chipmunks.
- Trap and escort them out humanely
Trapping the chipmunks and later releasing them somewhere far away is a good way to get rid of chipmunks without killing them. Make a humane trap that is 0-20 inches long, with one or two doors. Place the cage somewhere near burrows where usually chipmunks are seen. Put something like peanuts or seeds that they love as bait. Ensure that the animal is not harmed in any way during the process.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Are there laws related to trapping chipmunks?
There can be local laws related to animal trapping and those can apply to chipmunks as well. You may have recently moved to the state and may be unaware of the legal aspects involved. Check for the legal aspects in your area before you prepare a cage. Even if there is no law, you need to cage the animals and release them without harming them.
Should I get a pest professional to deal with chipmunks?
A pest professional can be of great help but before you hire one, try the above-mentioned techniques and see if your home can be made chipmunk-free. A pest professional is the last option. Before you hire a pro, be sure to ask for a detailed description of how they deal with chipmunks.
Do chipmunks carry diseases?
Chipmunks can carry several diseases, including plague, Colorado tick fever, rabies, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Do Chipmunks Bite?
Chipmunks are not aggressive toward humans but are capable of biting them.